Mini Trees Announces New ‘Burn Out’ EP, Shares “Shapeshifter”

As an EP opener, “Shapeshifter” makes Mini Trees’ sonic expansion plain from the jump, interweaving fractal synths and twitchy drum machine with Vega’s confessional meditations on identity | Seannie Bryan, courtesy of the artist

Los Angeles “living room pop” singer-songwriter Lexi Vega this week announced her latest EP as Mini Trees, Burn Out, coming March 1 on Run For Cover Records. New single “Shapeshifter” sees Vega bring electronics to the forefront, though her alluring melodies and intimate songwriting remain entirely intact.

In the late summer of 2022, Vega was essentially stepping off a rollercoaster: In the preceding year, she had released her acclaimed debut album Always in Motion and supported the likes of Julien Baker and Death Cab for Cutie on the road, transforming her creative outlet into a full-fledged career. But these peaks gave way to a valley after she returned to L.A., exhausted, uncertain and contemplating quitting.  “I struggle with the balance of being so emotionally attached to the art that I make and simultaneously trying to build a business out of it,” Vega said in a statement.

So when she made her way back to songwriting, it wasn’t a business decision—it was because that’s simply who she is. She returned to the studio with producer Jon Joseph (Low Hum, Bayonne, BOYO), pushing for “a determinately pop sound” and adding outside collaborators—Zac Rae (Death Cab for Cutie, Lana Del Rey, John Legend, Fiona Apple), James McAllister (Sufjan Stevens, Taylor Swift, Big Red Machine), and Jimmy Johnson (James Taylor, Rod Stewart, Phil Collins)—to the mix for the first time. Burn Out is what came out of it all.

The EP’s opener and latest single “Shapeshifter” makes Mini Trees’ sonic expansion plain from the jump, interweaving fractal synths and twitchy drum machine with Vega’s confessional meditations on identity. She’s unsparing in her assessment of herself, depicting her patchwork personality with tactile detail and plaintive emotion: “Sewed together pieces of nothing / A tapestry frayed at the edges / Oh, tell me when you start to see something / That I can’t see for myself,” she sings, teetering just on the edge of self-pity.

The “Shapeshifter” music video, lensed by Seannie Bryan, directly reinforces the song’s ideas. Gifted a mysterious orb that promises to help her find herself, Vega ponders it in search of answers, but discovers only her own reflection gazing back at her. She cycles through outfits, none of which feel quite right, but eventually reconnects with the disparate pieces that make her who she is, coming to see the crystal ball as disposable, and the patchwork quilt she’s woven as something uniquely beautiful.

Vega describes “Shapeshifter” as “a song about desperately trying to fit in and find belonging somewhere. It’s a criticism of myself, how depending on who I’m with I have a tendency to change myself to try to look more like them and blend in. Calling myself a ‘well dressed actor,’ ‘folding me inside out til I am a shell of myself,’ losing myself in the process of trying to look like everybody else. I use the analogy of looking at a tapestry that I’ve sewn together and not being able to recognize what it is … asking the listener to interpret it for me, like asking someone else to just tell me who I am already.”

Mini Trees tours the U.S. in March and April in support of the Burn Out EP. You’ll find both those dates and the EP’s track list down below. You can preorder the EP here and stream “Shapeshifter” here.

Burn Out EP Track List:

1. Shapeshifter

2. Burn Out

3. Cave (feat. Medium Build)

4. Sabotage

5. Push and Pull

Mini Trees Tour Dates:

March 11 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar^

March 19 – Birmingham, AL – Saturn^

March 20 – Nashville, TN – The End^

March 21 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade – Purgatory^

March 22 – Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle^

March 23 – Carrboro, NC – Cats Cradle Main Room^

March 25 – Washington D.C. – Union Stage^

March 26 – Philadelphia, PA – PhilaMOCA^

March 28 – New York, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg^

March 29 – Boston, MA – Sinclair^

March 30 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground^

April 1 – Toronto, ON – Velvet Underground^

April 2 – Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups^

April 4 – Chicago, IL – Schubas^

April 5 – Milwaukee, WI – Vivarium^

April 6 – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line^

April 8 – Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge^

April 10 – Boise, ID – Shrine Social Club^

April 12 – Seattle, WA – Barboza^

April 13 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir^

April 15 – San Francisco, CA – Cafe Du Nord^

April 25 – San Diego, CA – VooDoo Room^

April 26 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour^

^ = w/ Eliza Mclamb

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